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2003 - Results
25th May - Shamley Green

Conditions - dry with occasional showers forecast. However, we actually remained dry till evening.

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West End: 92-all out

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 H. Turner  32 Dodds  3-19
 B. Pudney  24 Kewell  2-8
 P. Dawson  7 Cousins  2-12
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Shamley Green: 92-2

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 J. Drummond  55* H. Turner  1-20
 G. Ellis  15 A. Barrett  1-25
 N. Cozens  13* -
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Shamley Green won by 7 wickets

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     Originally to be the week we played Tilford, that game was moved (at their request) to June 1st. Instead, we faced Shamley green, a Conference game on the other side of Guildford. Shamley have played here for over 150 years which explains why they have never moved from the minuscule green on which they play. On arrival, and parking on the white line outside the changing rooms, we were advised to move our cars behind the trees. This line constituted part of the boundary, two side roads crossing the small green at various angles. From here, it was quite charming to view the home team perform their well-drilled operation of covering the neighbouring houses windows with protective mesh frames!

     Our captain's flipped coin fell for the home side who, knowing their own pitch and players, put us in first. Johnno Greathead and Ian Brown opened but unfortunately, and again unluckily, Ian was out quickly to corker of a delivery from Cozens, bowling down the hill. The comment that there was "plenty of time" was (initially at least) wasted on next man in Ben Pudney, who crashed his first delivery square of the wicket, toward the bungalow protected by netting. Meanwhile, Johnno faced a series of tricky deliveries from Dodds who eventually bowled him soon after: this brought new man Matt Oliver to the crease.

Ian defends a Couzens riser Ben strokes a cracking four 0.001/sec before Matt is out

     Before the game, we were advised to watch the ball when batting, for if a ball hit the kerb it could bounce back to be chasing fielder. This advice proved academic to Ben as he whacked another four. Matt looked to be settling in nicely when Cousins got one to pop up and took a fairly comfortable caught and bowled. Neil Howarth's only scoring shot was a confident boundary before Baldwell beat his defence for the last time: he similarly dispatched John Macdonald first ball, bringing Captain Howard Turner to the crease. There was still plenty of time on the clock and Howard played himself in before getting off the mark via a well-struck boundary. By this time, Ben had reached the mid-twenties before his demise, another accurate cutting delivery making a mess of his stumps. If he doesn't score a half-century this season I'll make sure Howard eats his hat.

Shamley Green. The road is one of two crossing the outfield and are part of the ground!

     Talking of whom, it was the captain himself who make the next go of it, confidently taking on the bowlers. Bearing in mind how short the boundary was he scored our only six, hooked toward the corner shop. With Phil Dawson ably defending his wicket, Howard carefully made his way from the teens and through the Twenties. It took the return of their opening bowler to skew one past his bat to hit the stumps, and Adie Barrett to join Phil who, shortly after, was adjudged leg-before. Adie then rammed a ball onto his foot, took a riser in the chops, and then was bowled round his legs by a 12 year-old, something he won't live down for a while. Andy Horn (one anagram of which reads "Ron Handy") was left the not-out man with two, which protects his average nicely.

Ben gets away with it - again Neil's fantastic straight bat Phil frustrates Dodds

     Like Ourselves, Shamley Green opened with a left-right partnership, well attuned to the idiosyncrasies of their pitch. Despite beating the bat on occasion for no reward, the home side slowly but surely accumulated runs, mainly through their right hander Drummond: he simply took full advantage of the not-so-good ball. Ellis, his left-handed opening partner was thoroughly tested by Howard Turner, who finally tucked him up for room on 15. Ellis skied the ball and Johnno (not behind the stumps due to injury), once the ball decided to head back to earth, eventually caught it well. The score was 48, over halfway to their target. Barrett changed ends and took the wicket of Beard with the third ball of this new spell. This pair of scalps helped stem the gentle but insistent flow of runs, but only for a short while: Cozens, attempting to hit the public house across the main road but succeeded in whacking it straight back to Barrett - it almost took the bowler's hand off before the rest of him collapsed like a sack of potatoes. He was OK though and the next ball shaved Cozens' bat. Both batsmen recovered their poise and with the final stretch within reach hit Drummond pulled a succession of boundaries past the corner shop. Before long they cruised the final 14 runs to take Shamley Green to victory.

     After all said and done, a nice day was had by all and both teams hope to face each other again next year. For us, the result meant we are still looking for our first victory this year with an essentially rebuilt team, However, we can glean good cheer from recalling the most memorable quote of the day, coming as it did from Matt Oliver. He'd just visited the gents toilets and having noted the handles to assist the less well-abled, came back into the changing room and exclaimed "Have you seen all the bars? It's like a sexual gymnasium in there!'' There's no answer to that.

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